Prevalence of visual impairment among children newly registered in primary schools in Basrah city
Author(s): Dr. Nawar H Khalil
Abstract:Background: Visual impairment and blindness are major public health problems in developing countries where there is no enough health care service. Assessment of vision pre-school admission is crucial for School Health Services with other goals of immunization monitoring and hearing, height, weight screening. Normal vision is important for leading normal life and for good educational activities. Children with any form of visual problems which affect acuity or eye movements will be at risk of school dysfunction.
Objective: The purpose of the study is to estimate the prevalence of visual impairment among newly registered children in primary schools in Basra City.
Patients and Methods: This is a cross sectional study involving 400 newly registered primary school children. The study was carried out during their visit to primary health centers as preschool assessments.
All children were newly registered in the first class were included in the study (211 boys and 189 girls). Each child was examined for visual acuity.
Results: The results of the study showed a total of 400 children were examined. The study population composed (52.7%) males and (47.3%) females, the majority (94.3%) were 7 years old and only 0.05% were 9 years old.
Prevalence of children with normal visual acuity was (66%) of study population, (27.7%) were borderline and nearly equal prevalence of unilateral and bilateral defects (3.3%) (3%) respectively.
Conclusion: The prevalence of visual impairment in this study is low with relatively high percent of border line defects that/s why school vision screening is still important as it serves as an opportunity to identify other ocular morbidities among children.